Sunday, August 18, 2013

Who Has Bewitched You?

I've been reading a book written by David Wilkerson not too long before he died, entitled, "It Is Finished."  I encourage all my brothers and sisters in Christ to read it.  You can order it here.  I am not quite half way through it and I think I need to start over with a pencil and notebook by my side.  It is so enlightening and David has a way of writing clearly, in a way that makes such sense.  It is about the Old Covenant vs the New, the law vs grace, and how to overcome besetting sins in our lives.  He clearly points out that we have no power to overcome those sins.  We try and try, and promise to do better tomorrow, but we end up right back at square one.  It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we can overcome and gain victory.  A minister friend of mine once put it like this:  "don't try harder, cry harder."

Someone told me a couple of months ago that they were afraid they wouldn't make it in to heaven; they struggle and keep messing up.  I asked her when she got born again and she said "oh years ago."  (She has faithfully walked with the Lord ever since.)  So I asked her why she decided to be born again all those years ago. She said, "well...I needed to be saved."  I pointed out to her that that is why all of us got born again.  We needed someone to save us and we knew we couldn't save ourselves so we turned to Christ to save us.  

Galatians 3 begins with "oh ye foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?  Jesus was clearly crucified before your very eyes.  You began in the Spirit, are you now trying to end in the flesh?"  

When we became born again we put all our hope, faith and trust in one man, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins.  Then somewhere between being born again and now, we unconsciously decided to start relying on ourselves to be saved.  I mean saved out of our present circumstance or saved from sin.  We do that by trying to make ourselves acceptable before God.  We do it by trying to figure out our own circumstances or situations, and by trying to solve our own problems.  Somewhere between then and now we forgot that He is the only one that can do that for us!  We need Jesus to save us today every bit as much as we did years ago when we first entrusted him.  Who bewitched us?  

In this hour God is allowing his people to be in circumstances that we can do nothing about, just like Moses and the children of Israel at the Red Sea.  They had a mountain on their right, a mountain on their left, Pharaoh's army closing in from behind, and a vast sea in front of them.  There was absolutely no where to turn.  That is exactly where the Lord has his people in this hour.  In a place where we can do nothing and we must call on him for our deliverance.  He is the only one who can save us.  He is the only one who is able to keep us from falling and present us faultless before the Father.  He is the key.

Once we his people get that, we will have obtained the victory!

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb."  (Rev 12:11a)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Potato or Egg?

Let's face it. The Christian's walk is not generally a piece of cake. Hebrews 5 tells us that Jesus learned obedience by the things that he suffered. And if we read our bibles we see that without obedience (hear and obey for there's no other way) we will not enter into his kingdom and live with Him forever. So if Jesus learned how to be obedient by the things that he suffered, what makes us think our walk with him would be any different?

I never had so many tests and trials before I committed my way to Jesus. I went about my life singing "zippety do da, zippety yay, my oh my, it's going my way." But once in the boat with him, the wind began to howl and the waves began to crash. I can relate to the fear that his disciples experienced when they were in the stormy waters and Jesus was asleep. Matthew 8 tells us that the waves were so great that they covered the boat! It says the disciples woke Jesus up and said to him, "We're in the middle of a storm here! Can't you see we are perishing? Save us!" (DBV) (Debbie Berry version) I'm certain they were petrified that he wouldn't do anything about their situation. They obviously believed he could do something if he wanted to, otherwise why would they have called on him with such desperation; with such persistence to help?

When Jesus awoke and saw what was going on he said to them, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" Being the sarcastic, spiritually immature brat that I can sometimes be, I probably would have answered him something like this: "Oh, I'm sorry I was afraid. I mean the waves were only covering the boat! I should have just had faith that I wasn't going to die! Silly me!" How ridiculous, but oh, how truthful! Let's be honest. Am I the only one who sometimes doubts he will save me out of my dreadful circumstances?

Life happens and storms are going to hit. A couple of years ago a huge storm hit our family. Talk about the waves crashing down and covering your boat! My husband was diagnosed with cancer, and we were told that some of the tumors were aggressive. Right then and there we made a decision. Potato or egg? Which do we want to be?

If you take a pot of boiling water and place in it a raw potato and a "raw" egg, that same hot water will make the egg hard and the potato soft. We were in "hot water", so to speak, but we had choices. The hot water wasn't going to go away, but we could chose the effect it had on us and on our lives. In other words, we couldn't change our circumstances, but we could decide the effect we let them have on us. So we chose to be potatoes. We chose to let God use our circumstance to make us soft, to yield to him and to his will, no matter what. Our future was still a question mark, but our God...he is a period. He is the end of the sentence. He remains good and faithful even when our boat is in danger of sinking. But never overlook the fact that HE'S IN YOUR BOAT!

We may falter. We may even fail. But God is God, despite what we do, despite what we choose, despite our circumstances. It's really "Christianity 101". Don't let your circumstances make you hardhearted against him who loves you, against him who can save you.

Be a potato.